Thursday, 6 September 2012

City Review: San Antonio

I've always wanted to go to Texas. I'm not quite sure why. I think it is something about that Texas accent twang, or the chequered shirts and cowboy hats, or the banjo music... No matter what it is, all I know is I've always wanted to go and now I've been to San Antonio, I'm quite sure I want to go again... SOON.

The drive to San Antonio was oh-so-long. Literally, me and my two pals Cara and Caroline were sat cramped on the back row of the mini-van, sweating like pigs because the air-conditioning didn't blow that far. We whiled away the time taking naps all snuggled up together, flashing USA truck-drivers so they honked their horns at us and pulling stupid faces, laughing deliriously about the stupidest things. In all it was a fantastic journey.

As we pulled into the campsite, Cara and I were mesmerized by the beautiful river, and whilst everyone else sat behaving themselves in the van, waiting for our tour guide to check in, Cara and I made a break for it, climbing madly over everyone and escaping. In seconds we had jumped fully clothed into the cool clear water. It was so heavenly that the others soon joined us!

In fact, although the San Antonio campsite didn't have private showers (as in, she showers were stalls outside with NO DOORS on them. I mean, I'm not particularly coy about my body, but even I can't get fully naked and take a shower in front of complete strangers...) it was actually my favorite. This is mostly because of the river, but also because there wasn't as many bugs as there had been at previous campsites, the ground was soft and flat and there were picnic tables and good camp-cooking facilities. Plus, the toilets were nice and clean and there was enough plugs for us all to charge our phones at the same time. Wow, you don't realize how much you value the little things in life until you spend six weeks on budget campsites... 

We didn't have much time to get ready for our night out, but this was all part of the fun really... We'd heard that we were going someplace fun and 'Texasy' so I slipped into my black bodycon skirt and robbed a chequered shirt from our tour guide. I thought it was very 'sexy cowgirl' once I'd put my brown wedges on. We grabbed some of our cheeky beverages (and poured them into Coca-Cola cans so our tour guide wouldn't have a nervous breakdown about the fact that we were drinking in his van, which is apparently a BIG deal in the States) and hopped into the van, unaware of where we were headed. I was headed to the best night out of my trip, that's where!

The Cowboys Dancehall is THE PLACE TO BE. Without a doubt. The place is HUGE like a real genuine ball room. I've never seen anything like it! There was a big huge stage, a massive dancefloor, various bars AND a bucking bronco. Yes, you heard me. A bucking bronco. Since it was 'military night' I managed to persuade a young US soldier to invest in me (which sounds MUCH worse than it is...) by making him pay the whole $5 which it cost for me to have a go on the bronco. Sadly (for him, as it was his money...) I fell off in less than five seconds. Sick. 

I found a really lovely cowboy on the side of the dancefloor too... he ended up being from Australia (but in my defence, he did have a chequered shirt on!) Spent some good times dancing with him, but sadly lost his number which he had written on a napkin :( So if anyone out there knows Sam Young from Brisbane then tell him I never meant not to call him, promise. 

The next day, the majority of the group were feeling a bit worse for wear, and as it turns out, traipsing round a red hot city in the baking sun when feeling exhausted from the night before doesn't make for a great time. In fact, what it does make for, is falling asleep in the grass in front of the Alamo and waking up covered in ant bites. So I've heard.

*Stood in front of the Alamo in my new red sweater*

San Antonio by day had a really nice yet very distinctive touristy-vibe. There was a Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, a Madame Tussauds, a SeaWorld, a sightseeing bus tour and all the rest. I had a picture in front of the Alamo, but shamefully didn't go inside and (even more shamefully) still to this day have NO IDEA what the Alamo actually is. I think it is something to do with a war or battle, as there was a bunch of soldiers around on their day off. However, I don't know what it is. Anyone who cares to educate me, please feel free.

I started to get heatstroke towards the end of the day in San Antonio. It was just too hot and I was run down from getting next to no sleep the night before, I hadn't drank enough water and my head was spinning. We went searching for a restaurant along the river with good air conditioning, but we walked in and out of so many places and I literally felt like I would faint. Finally, we chose a restaurant called Dick's Last Resort. What is the selling point of this restaurant, I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you. At Dick's Last Resort, you can eat mediocre food which is over priced AND get insulted throughout your meal by the staff. When I say insulted, I mean it. They are all 'actors' and they literally will scream in your face that you are a 'Miserable b*tch'. Of course, they don't care that you have tears streaming down your face because the horrible greeter made you throw your water bottle away when you are dying of head exhaustion. Theoretically, this place is a good laugh. In practice, the waiters and waitresses aren't just having banter with you, they are genuinely horrible people who have found a job where they can get away with being themselves at work.

Actually, that rant is totally unfair. Our actual waiter was very nice. And there was another waiter who asked if I was ok as my eyes rolled into the back of my head. However, the greeter was evil and the barman argued with me for ten minutes stating, "Get your own glass of f**king water, Princess." I'm sure that if I'd been in good health I wouldn't have minded this as much, but being so ill (and hence a tad homesick) I just felt like I wanted to burst into tears!

Before I knew it, our time in San Antonio was over and I was ever so sad, purely because the weather was so brilliant and I'd wanted to stay in the Cowboys Dancehall all night. Plus, I bought a nice red sweater in the American Eagle in their shopping mall (which was fantastic by the way) so that mini bit of retail therapy put me in a right good mood :)

Have you ever wanted to go to Texas? Have you ever been out on such a different sort of night out and had such a good time? Would you have gotten your boot-skootin'-groove on?

Love and snuggles
GabriellaSofia x


  1. I've always wanted to go! It sounds amazing. The only thing I want to do there is buy a pair of Cowboy boots, I'd be so happy! Wow, the waiters do sound awful I would've complained, if most of them are like that I'm surprised they even have customers.
    Glad you had a great time!

    Just Smile.

    1. Haha, the only reason the waiters get away with it is because it is all part of the restaurant's 'experience'. San Antonio really is one of my favorite USA cities though, I just need to avoid the heat as much as possible during the hottest hours of the day!